Article 1. Public Agencies of California Vehicle Code >> Division 9. >> Chapter 1. >> Article 1.
As used in this chapter:
(a) "Employee" includes an officer, employee, or servant, whether
or not compensated, but does not include an independent contractor.
(b) "Employment" includes office or employment.
(c) "Public entity" includes the state, the Regents of the
University of California, a county, city, district, public authority,
public agency, and any other political subdivision or public
corporation in the state.
A public entity is liable for death or injury to person or
property proximately caused by a negligent or wrongful act or
omission in the operation of any motor vehicle by an employee of the
public entity acting within the scope of his employment.
Subject to Article 4 (commencing with Section 825) of
Chapter 1 of Part 2 of Division 3.6 of Title 1 of the Government
Code, a public entity is liable for death or injury to person or
property to the same extent as a private person under the provisions
of Article 2 (commencing with Section 17150) of this chapter.
A public employee is not liable for civil damages on account
of personal injury to or death of any person or damage to property
resulting from the operation, in the line of duty, of an authorized
emergency vehicle while responding to an emergency call or when in
the immediate pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law,
or when responding to but not upon returning from a fire alarm or
other emergency call.
Any private firm or corporation, or employee thereof,
which maintains a fire department and has entered into a mutual aid
agreement pursuant to Section 13855, 14095, or 14455.5 of the Health
and Safety Code shall have the same immunity from liability for civil
damages on account of personal injury to or death of any person or
damage to property resulting from the operation of an authorized
emergency vehicle while responding to, but not upon returning from, a
fire alarm or other emergency call as is provided by law for the
district and its employees with which the firm or corporation has
entered into a mutual aid agreement, except when the act or omission
causing the personal injury to or death of any person or damage to
property occurs on property under the control of such firm or
(a) The immunity provided by this section is in addition
to any other immunity provided by law. The adoption of a vehicle
pursuit policy by a public agency pursuant to this section is
(b) (1) A public agency employing peace officers that adopts and
promulgates a written policy on, and provides regular and periodic
training on an annual basis for, vehicular pursuits complying with
subdivisions (c) and (d) is immune from liability for civil damages
for personal injury to or death of any person or damage to property
resulting from the collision of a vehicle being operated by an actual
or suspected violator of the law who is being, has been, or believes
he or she is being or has been, pursued in a motor vehicle by a
peace officer employed by the public entity.
(2) Promulgation of the written policy under paragraph (1) shall
include, but is not limited to, a requirement that all peace officers
of the public agency certify in writing that they have received,
read, and understand the policy. The failure of an individual officer
to sign a certification shall not be used to impose liability on an
individual officer or a public entity.
(c) A policy for the safe conduct of motor vehicle pursuits by
peace officers shall meet all of the following minimum standards:
(1) Determine under what circumstances to initiate a pursuit. The
policy shall define a "pursuit," articulate the reasons for which a
pursuit is authorized, and identify the issues that should be
considered in reaching the decision to pursue. It should also address
the importance of protecting the public and balancing the known or
reasonably suspected offense, and the apparent need for immediate
capture against the risks to peace officers, innocent motorists, and
others to protect the public.
(2) Determine the total number of law enforcement vehicles
authorized to participate in a pursuit. Establish the authorized
number of law enforcement units and supervisors who may be involved
in a pursuit, describe the responsibility of each authorized unit and
the role of each peace officer and supervisor, and specify if and
when additional units are authorized.
(3) Determine the communication procedures to be followed during a
pursuit. Specify pursuit coordination and control procedures and
determine assignment of communications responsibility by unit and
(4) Determine the role of the supervisor in managing and
controlling a pursuit. Supervisory responsibility shall include
management and control of a pursuit, assessment of risk factors
associated with a pursuit, and when to terminate a pursuit.
(5) Determine driving tactics and the circumstances under which
the tactics may be appropriate.
(6) Determine authorized pursuit intervention tactics. Pursuit
intervention tactics include, but are not limited to, blocking,
ramming, boxing, and roadblock procedures. The policy shall specify
under what circumstances and conditions each approved tactic is
authorized to be used.
(7) Determine the factors to be considered by a peace officer and
supervisor in determining speeds throughout a pursuit. Evaluation
shall take into consideration public safety, peace officer safety,
and safety of the occupants in a fleeing vehicle.
(8) Determine the role of air support, where available. Air
support shall include coordinating the activities of resources on the
ground, reporting on the progress of a pursuit, and providing peace
officers and supervisors with information to evaluate whether or not
to continue the pursuit.
(9) Determine when to terminate or discontinue a pursuit. Factors
to be considered include, but are not limited to, all of the
(A) Ongoing evaluation of risk to the public or pursuing peace
(B) The protection of the public, given the known or reasonably
suspected offense and apparent need for immediate capture against the
risks to the public and peace officers.
(C) Vehicular or pedestrian traffic safety and volume.
(D) Weather conditions.
(E) Traffic conditions.
(G) Availability of air support.
(H) Procedures when an offender is identified and may be
apprehended at a later time or when the location of the pursuit
vehicle is no longer known.
(10) Determine procedures for apprehending an offender following a
pursuit. Safety of the public and peace officers during the law
enforcement effort to capture an offender shall be an important
(11) Determine effective coordination, management, and control of
interjurisdictional pursuits. The policy shall include, but shall not
be limited to, all of the following:
(A) Supervisory control and management of a pursuit that enters
(B) Communications and notifications among the agencies involved.
(C) Involvement in another jurisdiction's pursuit.
(D) Roles and responsibilities of units and coordination,
management, and control at the termination of an interjurisdictional
(12) Reporting and postpursuit analysis as required by Section
14602.1. Establish the level and procedures of postpursuit analysis,
review, and feedback. Establish procedures for written postpursuit
review and followup.
(d) "Regular and periodic training" under this section means
annual training that shall include, at a minimum, coverage of each of
the subjects and elements set forth in subdivision (c) and that
shall comply, at a minimum, with the training guidelines established
pursuant to Section 13519.8 of the Penal Code.
(e) The requirements of subdivision (c) represent minimum policy
standards and do not limit an agency from adopting additional policy
requirements. The requirements in subdivision (c) are consistent with
the 1995 California Law Enforcement Vehicle Pursuit Guidelines
developed by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training
pursuant to Section 13519.8 of the Penal Code that will assist
agencies in the development of their pursuit policies. Nothing in
this section precludes the adoption of a policy that limits or
(f) A determination of whether a public agency has complied with
subdivisions (c) and (d) is a question of law for the court.
(g) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2007.